Summary: Prayer is a very important purpose of the church.
• As we finish the purpose of the Church series, I hope that it has inspired some thinking from each one of us about what our purpose is and what we can do to better fulfill our purpose at ACC.
• I want to finish this series with a purpose that does not seem like one that invokes a lot of excitement. It is an activity that every person no matter what his or her physical limitations are can do.
• This activity is a channel of blessings for all who will use it.
• This purpose is prayer. Everything that we do as individual Christians and as a church should be bathed in prayer.
• If prayer does not drive sin out of your life, sin will drive prayer out.
• We feel that we just do not have time to pray.
• We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity but we accomplish little; many services but few conversions; much machinery but few results. R. A. Torrey
• Other times we use prayer only in an emergency.
• A young soldier who was fighting in Italy during World War II jumped into a foxhole just ahead of some bullets. He immediately tried to deepen the hole for more protection and was frantically scraping away the dirt with his hands. He unearthed something metal and brought up a silver crucifix, left by a former resident of the foxhole. A moment later another leaping figure landed beside him as the shells screamed overhead. When the soldier got a chance to look, he saw that his new companion was an army chaplain. Holding out the crucifix, the soldier gasped, "Am I glad to see you! How do you work this thing?"
• Prayer is important, Corrie Ten Boom ask us the question, “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?
• Too many times prayer is used as a spare tire instead of the steering wheel of our and the churches lives.
• What can we do to change this? Why should prayer be an important part of our lives?
I. PRAY SHOULD BE A PRIORITY FOR THE CHURCH BECAUSE…
1. Jesus was devoted to prayer.
• Jesus put a priority on prayer.
• LUKE 6:12 It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.
• LUKE 5:16 But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. When He was busy and tired.
• MAT 14:23 After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.
b. During His darkest hour, when He was about to be crucified, during His time of deepest need Jesus made time to pray. LUKE 22:39-46
c. Whenever Jesus did something or before He did something He prayer to God. Raising of Lazarus. John 11:41-ff.
d. How much prayer meant to Jesus! It was not only his regular habit, but his resort in every emergency, however slight or serious. When perplexed he prayed. When hard pressed by work he prayed. When hungry for fellowship he found it in prayer. He chose his associates and received his messages upon his knees. If tempted, he prayed. If criticized, he prayed. If fatigued in body or wearied in spirit, he had recourse to his one unfailing habit of prayer. Prayer brought him unmeasured power at the beginning, and kept the flow unbroken and undiminished. There was no emergency, no difficulty, no necessity, no temptation that would not yield to prayer. -- S. D. Gordon, Quiet Talks on Prayer. Christianity Today, Vol. 30, no. 5
2. The early church was devoted to prayer.
• ACT 1:14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
• ACT 2:42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
• The Leadership of the church was devoted to prayer also! ACT 6:4 "But we (Leaders of the church) will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word."
• ROM 12:10-13 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Prayer is a way to show devotion to someone.
• 1TH 5:17 pray without ceasing; (Never stop!)
3. Prayer should be a priority because God hears us.